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Hesitation can be deadly. Police officers and military service members spend a significant amount of time on training to overcome the deadly hesitation. It can make the difference between life and death not just for an individual, but for an entire group of people. On a less significant level, hesitation can win or lose a game. Running backs have to hit the hole created by linebackers immediately, otherwise the opening is lost, and the gain is eliminated. Hesitation can be extremely costly.

As leaders, we have to make tough decisions. In certain circumstances, we have plenty of time to weigh the pros and cons between options. Other times strong leadership is shown by responding immediately. We don’t always have the luxury of time on our side. Even knowing the right timing of the response, let alone the right decision requires wisdom.

When leaders are forced to make immediate decisions regarding a team member or business situation, we inherently rely on our true self, our core identity, to guide our decision. If we are representing an organization, then we also fall back on the mission statement and values of the organization. Again, the significant impact of leading a company whose values align with your own is highlighted. If we are going to be a strong leader, we must know our true selves. Do you know YOUR TRUE SELF? Are you rock solid in which values that you hold with an unwavering grip? Are you able to respond to these crucial moments and lead your team with clarity and confidence?

Not everyone is going to agree with how you call it on the line. However, as you stay true to yourself and uphold the values of the organization with calmness and consistency, you can have inner peace despite the potential external turmoil. Knowing you led your people and your organization with integrity can give you peace of mind at the end of the day regardless of how others respond. Likewise, it is a gift of stability to the team that in the midst of uncertainty, they can count on the certainty of their leader.

When the rapid tempo of the conflict seems to be accelerating, victory arises out of purposeful and deliberate decisions made without hesitation. Action is required. However, to act swiftly and effectively, you must know what you stand for and what you won’t tolerate. You must be rooted in your values and be crystal clear on the mission and values of the organization. Strong leaders do not react out of insecurities or emotional triggers. Strong leaders consistently respond to move the greater mission forward and to honor the values of the organization.

Do you know your values? Have your values and the values of the organization been communicated in a straightforward and concise way to the team? Hesitation can kill; a strong leader has to be able to call it on the line.